People around the world were shocked by a YouTube video that showed Karen Klein, a 68-year-old public school bus monitor, desperately trying to ignore malicious verbal jabs by a group of middle schoolers on her own bus.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - They jiggle her arm fat and threaten to stab her belly, and a few minutes into the YouTube video shot by a New York middle school student, bus monitor Karen Klein takes off her glasses.
"Oh no, put those back on," one of the kids says. "Oh my God, your glasses are all foggy from your sweat."
Klein tells the students she's not sweating. She's crying.
"I kind of tried to ignore them," Klein told ABC News.
Hillsborough County Schools Spokesman Steve Hegarty calls it extreme, but admits bullying isn't foreign to Tampa Bay area school buses.
"We would suspend kids from the bus pretty quickly," Hegarty said. "We don't condone bullying from kids to kids. We don't condone bullying toward adults."
According to Hegarty, all bus drivers are equipped with a radio to use in case they need assistance. They're also trained to handle rowdy behavior.
"What we do is, we separate the kids. We do whatever we need to do," Hegarty explained. "We expect that the kids are going to treat each other, and the adults on the bus, just as they would treat anyone at school, which is you don't bully people. You don't show people disrespect."
In addition to low pay and a required stellar driving record, Hegarty admits antics similar to those captured in the now viral YouTube video can make it difficult to hire enough bus drivers.
"It's a tough job," Hegarty said. "You have to be a certain kind of person to do that."
Klein doesn't plan to press charges, but wants the kids to know they acted disrespectfully. The students' middle school promises strict disciplinary action.
"Unless you have something nice to say, don't say anything at all," Klein tells them at one point during the video's beginning.
Toward the end, the students notice Klein's purse has the word "remarkable" on it.
"You already are remarkable by taking up a whole entire seat," one kid says.
All of the students have confessed. One even told ABC News he feels "bad" about the bullying.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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